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Salem Watch: Bike signal bill passes Senate

Posted by on February 9th, 2011 at 11:35 am

Bike traffic signal bill passed the Senate.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Senate Bill 130 (text), that would add green, yellow and red bicycle signals to Oregon’s list of officially accepted traffic control devices, has passed the Oregon Senate.

The ODOT-backed bill passed yesterday by a vote of 28-1. The only “no” vote came from Senator Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg). The Oregonian reported via Twitter that Kruse decried “special perks for cyclists” as the reason for his opposition.

SB 130 got a public hearing on February 1st and the City of Portland’s head traffic signal staffer Peter Koonce testified on its behalf. Why is this bill so important? Here’s a snip from his testimony:

“Senate Bill 130… will codify a technique that we have used to remove confusion and improve the safety of our streets… Providing an exclusive signal display recognizes the differences between motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, and it separates bicycles from conflicting movements.”

The bill will now move to the House. Given it’s resounding support in the Senate, and the fact that ODOT is behind it, our hunch is that it is very likely to pass. We’ll keep you posted.

— For more on this bill, read our past coverage.

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  • Chad February 9, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Nice. I’ll make sure not to stop and spend any money in Roseburg on my next trip down I-5 since I wouldn’t want to give any special perks to I-5 corridor cities.

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    • peejay February 9, 2011 at 11:59 am

      +1 to you, sir!

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      • Suburban February 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm

        His district looks alot like the map for Cycle Oregon 2011.

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        • matt picio February 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm

          And it’s likely he and many of his constituents will curse having to dodge 2,200 cyclists the day CO rides through, while simultaneously quietly pocketing all of the cash that gets spent in their community by all those cyclists stopping to buy batteries, candy bars, gatorade, postcards, and tourist knickknacks.

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    • Andrew Seger February 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      It really is a shame none of these former logging towns in oregon have the vision to really embrace bike/pedestrian friendly development. Heaven knows they could use something. Especially Roseburg. What a dump.

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      • matt picio February 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm

        “none of these … towns” – No sir, there is at least one – Oakridge has actively pursued cycling and cyclists in it’s attempt to bill itself as the mountain-biking capital of Oregon. They also were VERY welcoming of Cycle Oregon in 2007 – I had a great time there. I’m sad to say that I suspect that Oakridge is the exception that proves the rule.

        Check it out, bikes are at the very top and forefront of the City’s web page:

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      • Susan February 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm

        Don’t judge an entire county based upon the vote of one senator (and for whom many of us did not vote). There are a multitude of forward-thinking people here….and some of the greatest cycling in the state. Cycle Oregon was given a huge, warm welcome when riders overnighted in Oakland a few years ago. And if you ever do get off I-5 and take some time to ride here, you’ll get a warm welcome as well.

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  • Stephen Gomez February 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Actually, Oakridge is a model for a city that has moved beyond it’s timber town past and has fully embraced cycling–specifically mountain biking. We rode Mt. Bike Oregon out of Oakridge last year and it was clear that biking has become the economic focus of this town, not to mention the world-class riding in the old forests.

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    • Andrew Seger February 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks Stephen, I didn’t know that. Will have to pay them a visit this summer. I was thinking more a small downtown area with super bike friendly features, like some of the small towns in the netherlands. But I hope this works out for them. (should also mention Ashland has a very well integrated mountain bike/public park in the hills above the city)

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  • Spiffy February 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    if he opposes this due to “special perks for cyclists” then he must also oppose ped walk signals as “special perks for pedestrians”….

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    • K'Tesh February 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      And why should motor vehicles get special perks?

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      • q`Tzal February 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm

        No more special perks for high speed autos!
        Rip out all the interstates, highways and any other road feature that allows autos to drive faster than bicycles.

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  • 3-speeder February 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Although my initial thought also focused on the “1”, I quickly realized it was better to focus on the “28”.

    We don’t need unanimity, we just need an (overwhelming) majority.

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  • A.K. February 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Perhaps it would help Senator Jeff Kruse to think of it this way:

    Any device that increases the safety of cyclist and motorist interactions will decrease accidents, thus decreasing medical expense and CLAIMS AGAINST INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR DAMAGE.

    Each accident that is prevented is one less claim for medical insurance, one less claim again someone’s car insurance, etc.

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    • q`Tzal February 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      Sorry, are you asking for rational thought from a politician?

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      • A.K. February 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm

        Yes, not sure what I was thinking there. 😉

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  • Wayne February 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Clearly, a politician stuck in the “us vs them” mentality of a car-centric environment that is fast becoming obsolete as we address multi-use transportation as a part of our urban planning.

    Oakridge is a prime example of a town that has embraced cycling (specifically mt biking) to reinvent themselves. A great place to visit.

    Perhaps this individual is simply unaware of the positive economic impact cycling and related industries brings to the Oregon economy – jobs created, products manufactured, empty spaces leased, brands developed, etc. Not to mention the positive health benefits, the hundreds of thousands of dollars each year raised for various charities, and so on.

    Maybe someone at CO could invite him to the opening ceremonies in Sutherlin. Just a thought.

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  • Spiffy February 10, 2011 at 7:15 am

    yeah waiting for Jonathan to close the italics tag after the “— For more on this bill, read our past coverage.” bit…

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